What captures the scene best? My pocket Canon? A fancy camera with a lens of envy? Maybe the awkwardness of an iPad. Possibly even a video vision and sound. Certainly not a selfie. Maybe none of these.
Imagine this. Scrunch of rough sand under foot. Just a few steps. Scrape of jeans on the low stone wall as I settle in to observe the protected port before me.
Maybe it’s the sound of my face muscles forming a wide smile as I look at this beautiful scene. To no inquisitive sea gull in particular I exclaim reasonably loudly – this is fantastic.
And this is what a picture does not capture. The rhythmic lapping of the tiny waves on the bay shore. The squawking birds with silent wings. Distant and occasional click of fittings on masts of boats bobbing against anchored buoys. Wind in my ears.
To my left I detect movement then a low scrapping sound as a leathered sailor drags his wheeled dinghy to the water’s edge. Silently gliding it in and in seemingly one motion jerks the motor into sputtering life, jumps aboard and makes for the distant yachts.
The sound of the dinghy – a muffled gurgle low even to start off with – recedes to silence long before the sailor man is out of sight. Which boat is he heading for? What chore calls him out to the late afternoon sun?
Time passes. Minutes. Maybe 20. Watching the whole scene, yet without focus. Some movement is detected or so I thought. Staring harder, yes I see the speck becoming a blob, then detectable as a human form, then as a dinghy drawing closer.
The sailor man returns to silently beach his small craft. I offer to help with the drag across the sand to the asphalt path. Politely declining, sailor man engages in conversation. About Port Louis. About sailing. About what a beautiful place Sydney is.
I say what a beautiful place Port-Louis is.
Do these pictures match the words?